50 Commercial Street

Enlivened by exuberant Victorian ornamentation, 50 Commercial Street was built about 1860. The historic district survey calls it the Ross Moffett cottage. Moffett, who died in 1971, was one of the best known Provincetown painters and a leader of the modernist faction at the Provincetown Art Association, with Todd Lindenmuth, who lived at 56 Commercial Street. Thanks to his account, Art in Narrow Streets, we have a detailed picture of the art scene from 1914 through 1947. Vivian (Foster) De Pinna, a suffragist and an abstract artist whose husband had been president of the De Pinna clothing stores of New York, once owned the house. More pictures and history»

51 Commercial Street

Prince Freeman Apartments

Nathaniel Freeman lived in this modest house, built in 1818 in the center of the Long Point community. Catherine and Edward Dahill opened the Prince Freeman Apartments in 1949, taking the name from the first baby born at Long Point. Now called the Prince Freeman Westend Waterfront Compound, 51 Commercial Street continues to be run and owned by the Dahill family. More pictures»

52 Commercial Street

 
La Principessa

A splash of pink, this 1850s house at 52 Commercial Street is known as “La Principessa.” It was here that John Whorf, a water-colorist whom The Advocate called the “jewel in the crown of many noted Provincetown artists,” rode out the hurricane of 1944. Though born in Winthrop, he came to town at a young age to visit his grandfather Isaiah. Handsome and worldly, he became a consummate town insider, serving as Skipper of the Beachcombers, but was also well-known off-Cape. More pictures and history»

54 Commercial Street

 
Stephen Nickerson, who built this house on the shoreline around 1790, is thought to have been one of the wealthier residents of town. There was no Commercial Street at the time. The house simply faced the harbor. The 1807 House, as it was known until 2009, took its name from the year in which it was supposed that Nickerson moved the building upland to its current location at 54 Commercial Street, thereby creating space to service his whaling business. More pictures and history»

† 55 Commercial Street

Western Cold Storage

On what is now a parking lot and town landing at 55 Commercial Street stood Western Cold Storage, the westernmost of Provincetown’s cold storage facilities; enormous, industrial-strength fish processing and freezing plants which once lined the waterfront. Only one, the Ice House, survives. The Western was built in 1917 and only operated for a year before shutting down. The town seized the property for non-payment of taxes and tore down the building in 1937, leaving a parking lot in its wake that has been there ever since. The Long Point exhibit at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum indicates that a floater house also occupied this site.